Microsoft users seek answers at DevCon

At Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference in Orlando next week, users are hoping the computing giant will lift the covers on a slew of new initiatives.

For the past few weeks, Microsoft has been doling out bits of information about its computing architecture's future. The linchpin initiative, Microsoft.Net, is a middleware platform that will allow services to be exchanged across internet applications and devices.

But users said they have a lot of questions about other parts of that plan, including Microsoft's C# development language, Visual Studio.Net development tools, Component Object Model and protocols like XML and Simple Object Access Protocol.

Microsoft claims C# will make it easier for C and C++ developers to create objects that run on the new Microsoft.Net infrastructure and interoperate with other platforms and applications. Microsoft has promised that C# will become an open standard.

Microsoft officials said they will furnish more details on C# at the conference.

Meanwhile, users remain cautiously optimistic.

"From the top level, C# sounds conceptually like a good idea, but I'm still waiting for feedback from my troops about it," said Peter Janak, CIO at Delphi Automotive Systems in Michigan.

C# "sounds good in theory", agreed Rodney Bergren, a developer at Des Moines Area Community College in Iowa.

"But I'm not sure everything will go Microsoft in the next three years, so learning another Microsoft language may not make sense at this time," he added.

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